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The Impossibility of Tomorrow: An Incarnation Novel
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The Impossibility of Tomorrow: An Incarnation Novel

4.5 4
by Avery Williams

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The immortal Seraphina is forced to face the darkness of her past—and risk losing the love of her life—in this gripping conclusion to the Incarnation series. “Fans of the first book will enjoy every roller-coaster spin and twist” (School Library Journal).

Seraphina has been living for centuries, thanks to a special method of alchemy


The immortal Seraphina is forced to face the darkness of her past—and risk losing the love of her life—in this gripping conclusion to the Incarnation series. “Fans of the first book will enjoy every roller-coaster spin and twist” (School Library Journal).

Seraphina has been living for centuries, thanks to a special method of alchemy, but only recently has she really felt alive. She’s finally broken free from her controlling boyfriend, Cyrus, and after years of swapping bodies to preserve her immortality, is happily settled into a life worth sticking with. Because in this life, she has Noah.

But Noah might not be as trustworthy as he seems. After he delivers an ominous message that could only come from Cyrus, Sera is worried that her new friends and family will find out her secret. And as her suspicions extend beyond Noah, Sera is forced to wonder about her new friends as well: Could her old coven be disguising themselves right under her nose?

Will Sera have to move to another body—and take another life—or can she find a way to keep what she’s got, forever?

The Incarnation series is created by Alloy Entertainment, producer of bestselling teen and middle grade series including The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Gossip Girl, The Vampire Diaries, and Pretty Little Liars.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Caitlin Marineau
The sequel to author Avery Williams's The Alchemy of Forever, The Impossibility of Tomorrow follows Seraphina Ames, an "Incarnate" who can live forever by taking over the bodies of mortal humans. After 600 years, she has escaped from her domineering and abusive partner, Cyrus, and is seeking to evade him and establish a new life in Berkeley, California after she mistakenly inhabited the body of dying Kailey Morgan. Seraphina knows that Cyrus is still after her though, and could be anybody, so she must try to find and kill him before he discovers her. Complications ensue as Seraphina tries to navigate Kailey's old life while falling in love with her classmate Noah. The plot drags at times, and bizarrely, Seraphina is over half a millennium old, but generally simply acts like an inexperienced teenager, jumping to conclusions and never exuding the wisdom that someone with her amount of experience would supposedly have, even despite her previously controlled life with Cyrus. The story picks up towards the end, however, and teen readers will likely be surprised by the climax. Those who enjoyed the first book will eagerly pick up this sequel to learn about the fate of both Seraphina and Cyrus. Reviewer: Caitlin Marineau
VOYA - Jennifer Miskec
Sixteen-year-old Kailey is not who she seems. After a tragic car accident, Seraphina, an ancient Incarnate, happens upon Kailey's body and inhabits it. Now, Seraphina lives in Kailey's body and is building a life for herself among Kailey's friends and family. A sequel to The Alchemy Of Forever (Simon & Schuster, 2012/Voya April 2012), the newest novel in the Incarnation series finds Seraphina still hiding from her controlling ex, Cyrus, and Cyrus still trying to bring Seraphina back to the coven. With the ability to inhabit others' bodies, though, it is often difficult to know if people are who they say they are. Seraphina, for example, almost kills a number of innocent people thinking that they are really Cyrus. To make matters worse, Seraphina has fallen in love with Kailey's old friend and neighbor, Noah, even though Kailey had been in a relationship with a woman. Within the typical concerns of white, middle-class high school students—homework, siblings, parties, and prom—Seraphina's dark past that will not stay hidden amplifies the drama. Although it is refreshing that the older half of the couple is the female, it is still a hundreds-of-years-old fake teen who is in a sexual relationship with a real teen, which is always a bit creepy. Still, fans of Twilight will overlook the "ick" and enjoy the supernatural romance. Reviewer: Jennifer Miskec
Kirkus Reviews
She's been alive for 616 years, but now she's in love with a teenage boy. This second installation in the Incarnation series leads to a showdown between the lead character and her nemesis but leaves the way open for another sequel. Evil Cyrus has the formula that allows souls to incarnate in new bodies, once the bodies are sufficiently dead. Cyrus clings to his obsessive love for Sera, whom he turned immortal in 1349, but she escaped in the previous book by finding a girl dying in a car accident and taking over her body. Living as 16-year old Kailey, Sera's now happily ensconced in Berkeley with the girl's former family, who don't know their daughter is dead. She's also firmly in love with Kailey's boyfriend, Noah. She wants to escape Cyrus and live as Kailey with her new romance intact, but to do it, she will have to outwit Cyrus. Can Sera/Kailey find Cyrus before he finds her, even as he uses his coven of fellow Incarnates to search for her? Chick-lit action full of fashion, friendships and girl rivalries vies with the immortality plot, which includes Sera's hand-wringing about the ethics of the practice she and the other Incarnates have been following for centuries. Volcano metaphors occasionally stand out in the otherwise straightforward prose. Fine for devoted paranormal-romance fans but probably not many others. (Paranormal romance. 12 & up)
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—In this sequel to The Alchemy of Forever (S & S, 2012), readers find Seraphina Ames having successfully escaped the smothering clutches of Cyrus for only the second time in her 600-plus years of living as an immortal incarnate. Cyrus has perfected a method of alchemy that allows a soul to swap bodies with any human of choice and is the leader of a coven that Sera has been a part of for the past six centuries. He is also her first love and is insanely jealous, acting out his displeasure in volatile, psychotic ways. Since her escape, she has been living in Berkeley, California, as a member of the Morgan family. By accident she took the body of 16-year-old Kailey Morgan in an unwitting attempt to administer CPR to the real Kailey after a fatal car crash. Living as Kailey has allowed her the opportunity to enjoy the role of a typical teenager for the first time in her life. This idyllic scenario comes to an abrupt end with the appearance of a texted message on Kailey's phone that simply says, "Alchemy." Only one person would send that message-Cyrus-and he must be stopped before he takes away the only people she's ever cared for. As she lures him out of hiding, her paranoia rises and she mistakenly suspects each and every human she encounters as the disguised, revenge-seeking Cyrus. Fans of the first book will enjoy every roller-coaster spin and twist and will not be able to figure out this who-is-it until the screeching conclusion. The menacing aspect of the story's ending leaves enough loose ends for a third installment.—Sabrina Carnesi, Crittenden Middle School, Newport News, VA

Product Details

Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.34(h) x 1.25(d)
HL730L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 Years

Read an Excerpt

The Impossibility of Tomorrow

  • In 1812, there was an earthquake in the unlikely location of New Madrid, Missouri. It was so violent and ruptured the ground with such force that the Mississippi River temporarily ran backward. Cyrus and I were living in Manhattan at the time, and I remember what he said to me as we strolled through the market: “It takes an earthquake to alter the course of a river. What does it take to change the course of a life?”

    I wish I didn’t know how easily it is done. I wish I didn’t know that sometimes, a life pivots from its intended path in the wake of the tiniest thing.

    Sometimes all it takes is one word.


    It can be uttered by a platinum-haired boy as he pulls out a vial of potion dangling on a silver chain. Or delivered the modern way, electronically, the brightly backlit screen of a cell phone belying the dark message it displays.

    I sink to my knees on the musty, stained carpet of Cyrus’s motel room. Kailey Morgan’s iPhone lies in front of me, unharmed from when I dropped it on the carpet. I want to smash that stupid phone. But I don’t. I pick it up, coaxing it back to life with trembling fingers, and stare blankly at the Words with Friends screen, as the last droplets of hope evaporate from my soul.

    It’s still there. Alchemy. The word was played on Noah Vander’s phone. It must have been typed with Noah’s fingers. But it couldn’t have come from Noah. Only one person in Berkeley knows what that word truly means.


    My longest companion, my greatest enemy, who would cage me like a bird. Who used alchemy to make me what I am now: an Incarnate, a wandering soul who takes up residence in human bodies. When I ran away from the coven several weeks ago, it was with one vow in my heart: that I would never again take another life. I was ready to die. I only took sixteen-year-old Kailey Morgan’s body by mistake, when her car crashed right in front of me, a fiery display of gasoline and cracked glass.

    I look upward, at the bare bulb that illuminates the motel room, suddenly feeling exposed. I shove the phone in my pocket and dart to the light switch, flipping it off. The room disappears into a velvety, choking darkness. I blink, waiting for my eyes to adjust.

    I don’t think Cyrus will kill me for leaving him. In his own sick, twisted way, he loves me too much for that. But one way or another, he’ll make me pay. He’s already made me pay by taking Noah.

    A volcano of pain erupts in my heart. A sob rises from deep inside me as I picture Noah’s beautiful face, his strong jaw, his smiling lapis-lazuli eyes as he holds up his camera, his hand pushing his reckless crow-colored hair out of the way. The next time I see him, his face will be transformed by Cyrus’s soul, a hideous change that will be invisible to everyone except me. The thought of Cyrus inside of Noah’s body, of Noah’s soul shoved out into an uncaring foggy night, is almost unbearable.

    A loud peal of laughter sounds from outside the room, from the direction of the parking lot, followed by a heavy footstep on the stair. My heart starts to thud. Whoever’s making those footfalls is big—much bigger than me. And suddenly I realize that the message on Kailey’s phone means so much more than Noah’s death.

    It means Cyrus knows who I am. And even worse, where I am. He’s probably right outside, waiting for me to emerge.

    The image of the rabbits we dissected in Cyrus’s biology class flits through my mind. A rabbit is a prey animal, he’d said while posing as a substitute teacher named Mr. Shaw. And its best chance at survival is to outrun its hunter. Sometimes escape is the best defense, better than any teeth or claws.

    But I have been running for way too long. I have lost this game, and it’s time to face him. My pulse hammers in my ears as I turn the knob and open the door. A blast of damp air meets me.

    But the man on the stairs isn’t Cyrus. He’s tall and thin, with deep brown skin and a neatly trimmed goatee. He’s carrying a woman, whose head is tipped back. She’s giggling softly.

    He looks up at me. “Well, hello there,” he says, somewhat gallantly, though he’s slurring his words. The woman laughs louder.

    “Put me down,” she demands. “I’m too heavy for you.”

    “Yeah, right,” he answers, shifting her weight. “You’re drunk, baby. You’ll fall down these stairs.” He leans over and kisses her cheek.

    “We just got married!” the woman exclaims to me, punctuating her statement with a small hiccup. “We’re a family now!”

    At the word family, a coldness that has nothing to do with the night’s mist settles upon me. A slow realization, an icy chill that hisses as it laps in my veins. It’s not just Noah who was in danger. And not just me, either.

    Kailey’s family, who I’ve come to love, is utterly defenseless against Cyrus. Her mother, her father. Her brother Bryan, who I think of as my own. Cyrus could be at their house, right now.

    I squeeze past the couple on the stairs and sprint to the Dumpster, where I’d stashed Bryan’s bike earlier. The woman calls after me. “Hey! Aren’t you going to congratulate us?”

    “Congratulations!” I call, tears pooling in my eyes as I hoist myself onto the bike. “Hold on tight to each other. While you can,” I add under my breath. All my time on Earth has shown me that love is a rare and fleeting thing.

  • Meet the Author

    Avery Williams was born the day after Halloween in Los Angeles and has since lived in five different states due to her father’s job as a radio disc jockey (though she sometimes claims her parents were in the circus). Now she makes her home in Oakland, California, with her husband and a cat named Vendetta. She enjoys riding her bicycle around town and working on her hundred-year-old house. She is the author of The Alchemy of Forever and The Impossibility of Tomorrow.

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    The Impossibility of Tomorrow: An Incarnation Novel 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
    Dazzlamb More than 1 year ago
    After the cliffhanger THE ALCHEMY OF FOREVER ended with I couldn't wait to read its sequel. Believe me, if you have the chance, you want to read the two INCARNATION books back to back because they both are so unbelievably irresistible. I was surprised and elated to find out the second book had about one hundred pages more than the first which guaranteed so much more freaskishly frightening reading fun. Incarnates are souls that have lived for centuries. They possess the ability to take over the body of any human being they come near enough to do the transfer. Sera was one of them once, but not anymore. In THE ALCHEMY OF FOREVER she left her coven and her possessive boyfriend Cyrus for good and took over one last body on her escape. And with it the life of sixteen-year-old Kailey. She goes to school, hangs out with her friends and falls in love with Noah. It should all be about the undying love between Cyrus and Seraphina, who met hundreds of years ago and have been together for almost all of their immortal lives. Rudely phrased, Cyrus is a jerk that has lived way too long to be granted another chance in life. So it's only fair that Sera was lucky enough to begin a new life on her own and that she found Noah. And the sweetness that's Noah, her boyfriend from next door! You won't be able to resist him. Sera and Noah's love story is an epic one. Sera is such a kind soul. She's lived all these different lives and has been to so many different places all over the world, still it seems this new life as Kailey is an entirely new thing to her. She's never felt so accepted and loved before and you can't but be happy for her. Now Sera has to deal with all the problems Kailey left behind and get to know the people who were important to the mysterious teenage girl that was Kailey. The alchemy part and the power to transfer your soul into another body still fascinated me so much. But the fact that every time a new body was possessed, the person would die and the old body disintegrate to dust scared me pretty much. So a new murder case was caused every time Cyrus, the crazy immortal stalker ex of Sera, changed bodies. He sure leaves a path of death on his mission to find Sera's new body. Not knowing whose body Cyrus would have possessed by then, was creepy. It was like a very elaborate game of hide and seek. You automatically suspected everyone around Sera who acted strange. I started analysing every sentence and motif. And these little hints and threats Cyrus leaves all around town? The game he's playing couldn't be more terrifying. Also, how dare Cyrus endanger Sera and Noah's future together? You just want to kick him and rip him apart for the dread and fear he puts into Sera and thereby sabotages Sera and Noah's relationship at some point. You sabotage their relationship and you have to report to me! You know I loved THE ALCHEMY OF FOREVER very much (read my review here), so you also know what it means when I say that THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF TOMORROW was even better than the first book. How is that even possible? Avery Williams doubled the package of awesomeness she installed in her first INCARNATION book. She added some more mystery, thriller. Plus the romance is something to be eternally enarmored with. Avery Williams always keeps the story exciting. You never know what comes next and especially who or what is waiting around the next corner. Love or death. Sera's story doesn't find a complete wrap-up in this sequel, so it's only natural I have the hugest hope for a sequel to follow THE IMPOSSIBLITY OF TOMORROW! 5/5 ***** THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF TOMORROW – The most astounding and thrilling game of hide and seek. This is a YA love like no other! There's no chance you'll get around this stunning sequel to THE ALCHEMY OF FOREVER! Avery Williams spun an elaborate and magnificient story around the essence of souls, incarnation and alchemy and gifted readers with one of the most adoring and timeless love stories of YA. But never fear thrill-seekers, Sera's ex Cyrus has never been more dangerous and unpredictable than in THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF TOMORROW. This is a read for your mind, heart and soul!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago